The oak in Europe is liable to injury from a great variety of insect enemies: the young wood is attacked by the larvae of the small stag-beetle and several other Coleoptera, and those of the wood-leopard moth, goat moth and other Lepidoptera feed upon it occasionally; the foliage is devoured by innumerable larvae; indeed, it has been stated that half the plant-eating insects of England prey more or less upon the oak, and in some seasons it is difficult to find a leaf perfectly free from their depredations.
COLEOPTERA, a term used in zoological classification for the true beetles which form one of the best-marked and most natural of the orders into which the class Hexapoda (or Insecta) has been divided.
For the relationship of the Coleoptera to other orders of insects see Hexapoda.
The Coleoptera are almost worldwide in their distribution, being represented in the Arctic regions and on almost all oceanic islands.
The Coleoptera can be traced back farther in time than any other order of insects with complete transformations, if the structures that have been described from the Carboniferous rocks of Germany are really elytra.